|Some monsters are real...
They hide, in the darkness, waiting so patiently, so secretively, that no one sees, no one hears, until it's too late. Until their dark, secretive and deadly claws are wrapped around your body, killing you slow...
In a land long ago and far away, once upon a time, fairy tales, right? Only in a fairy tale did monsters exist. They were scary and dark and left something to be dreaded when innocence abounds... "Check in the closet, and under the bed daddy, please! I know there are monsters there!" So daddy checked and sure enough, no monsters. Still the light had to be on and the covers had to go over the entire body, from head to foot, because every child knows, "monsters can't get through blankets." The thing with fairy tales, is that for every monster who tried to destroy, who tried to kill, a village, a child, a princess, there was always a hero, a knight in shining armor, someone, usually male, who would thwart and kill the monster before it destroyed or before it killed. For every monster, there was always a hero.
Now the same stories, that once were told in all to eager to listen innocent ears, belong to my little ones. And the same words I spoke all those years back my little girls speak to my husband. "Check under the bed daddy! In the closet daddy!" And just as my father checked, so my girls father checked in superhero form of course, and gave them each a peck before he left the room, and left the light on. As my husband left the room and left the door slightly open he blew a kiss to me as he always did. He always had a way of reassuring me and making me feel safe. I don't know, it was always like that. Even the first time we met.
I was on my own, facing the big and bad world in a safe little town of about 13,000 people. It's funny how scared I was at the time in that little coffee house, just dreaming about my future in the big city and dreading at the same time how a young innocent and naive girl like myself was going to make it. Before I knew it, I had kissed my parents goodbye as my daddy held tight and my mother couldn't even speak two words before she broke out in tears. I was on the road, still so many miles to go when I had to pull over and fill with gas. A bag of cheetos, with a dr. pepper, mmm. how a girl loves to snack, oh and of cousre a full tank of gas. Fifty four dollars, oh boy, I thought, as the gas was finished filling. On the road again, when about fourty miles out, boom! I heard, followed by the sound of torn rubber hitting the street, heard only after the pounding of my heart faded from my ears. "Oh boy, what am I gonna do now", I said to myself as he pulled up. He got out of his car as I hurried back into mine and quickly rolled up the window and dialed the numbers 9 1 1 ready to push the call button, when I looked up and saw that smile, saw those eyes, and I knew I was gonna be safe. "Hi,", was the first word he spoke, "looks like you're in a bit of a jam." I smiled as I got out of the car. That was the first time he saved my life.
Now married with a family of our own, bills of our own, a home of our own, it's still the same as when we first met. I still feel safe, I still feel warmth, I knew it was always gonna be like this. At least I thought I knew.
It was a morning just like before. Get up, cook breakfast for my husband and see him off to work. Do a few things before the girls get up, which usually adds up to a yawn and then mom mode kicks in as I pour a bowl of their favorite cereal and then put on Dora the Explorer for us to watch and jump around with and sing with and learn with. They both, now at three and four, count to ten in english and spanish! I was and am so excited for them. I get them ready, bathe them, help clothe them, which is harder than it sounds. I put a movie on in my room as I locked the bedroom door, as I usually do and always did times before, so they cannot get out. I go to shower just on the other side of the wall in my masterbath with of course the door opened. It was there, then at that moment in the shower, that my life would be different, and I was gonna find out, monsters just don't exist in fairy tales and sometimes heroes, no matter how strong, how hard they try, just can't stop the monster.
The monster came calling, out of nowhere and before I could breathe a single breath, the air was pushed out of my lungs as he so monstrously, so horribly so tightly squeezed and wrapped his claws aroung my body. Every day became a battle, every battle became a hope. Maybe today the serum will work. Maybe today, the monster falls and all will be right with the world again. Maybe today the grip won't be so hard and I can play with my little girls again as we watch Dora, and sing, and dance and learn, oh how I am so proud of them and excited for them!!! Maybe today I can spend with my husband, and kiss him and be with him like before. Only those days seem like a dream as did the life before, before the monster came calling.
Oh but as the monster squeezed tighter and tighter, trying so hard yet so slowly, so tortuously to kill me, my hero was there, as he always was, trying so hard to defeat the monster. Sometimes he would just hold me, cry with me, watch me sleep, watch me fight, because as much as he wanted to stop the monster, no one could, not even him. As much as he wanted to fight every battle for me, he couldn't, no one could, only me. I could feel the fear, the frustration and anger in his eyes as the monster devoured me daily tore my flesh to shreds and wounded me. But as the battle raged he was there. As the battle ended he was there. He made me feel safe, feel warm, made me feel like no matter what, everything was gonna be alright. And you know what, I believed him, and still do.
This is not a fairy tale though, and there is no happy ending here... Because sometimes, no matter how hard you fight, no matter how strong your hero is, sometimes, the monster wins.
As my little girls, (whom I will never see grow up, whom I will never dance with, sing with, learn with ever again,oh! it's not fair!), I thought, watched so confused so knowingly day after day were and are my hope, my future and my happily ever after. They will be taken care of at least by my hero. They will know their mommy fought to the end, and their father was and is and always will be her hero as he will be theirs.
It has been three years, four months, five days since the monster came calling, since the war was raged between he and I, and it was coming to a quick end.
The serum, the medicine, the chemo did not work. But there was my rock, my strength, my hero holding my hand and the hands of my princesses. I saw those little girls, my angels and spoke softly into their innocent ears about my hero and theirs, and they smiled that innocent smile, and I knew they would be ok. Then I saw that smile, looked into those eyes that I saw that day on the side of that road, and now just as I did then, I feel safe. He blows me kiss and I smile and everything goes...
Some monsters are real...